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Does Bursitis Show Up On An X-Ray?



Chronic or severe bursitis can show up on an X-ray image using a special view, called an outlet view.

More Info: A diagnostic imaging procedure is not necessary in the diagnosis of bursitis, but doctors will often use them to see the extent of damage or to rule out other conditions. While severe cases of bursitis will show calcification or spurs on an X-ray, doctors will often request another imaging procedure, such as an MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging. An MRI can show inflammation, fluid and small tears that an X-ray would not be capable of capturing.

Instead, bursitis is diagnosed with a physical examination of the shoulder, hip or other affected joint. The doctor will check for tenderness, swelling and inflammation in the joint area. In addition, they will review the range of motion of the joint. All of these symptoms in combination with pain in the muscles and tendons indicate an impingement and bursitis.

Treatment of Bursitis

In most cases, the actual treatment for bursitis will depend on the severity of the condition, the age of the patient and their overall health. Treatment would also depend on whether or not an infection is present with the bursitis. If an infection is not present, anti-inflammatory medication and cold compression will usually help the injury. If an infection is present with the bursitis, antibiotics and removal of the fluids around the joint are necessary.



“Shoulder Impingement – Your Orthopaedic Connection – AAOS.” AAOS – Your Orthopaedic Connection. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2010.

“Questions and Answers About Bursitis and Tendinitis.” Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Home Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2010.

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